Zacuto RED DSMC 2 Shoulder Rig Video Review

February 28th, 2019

The new RED DSMC 2 shoulder rig from Zacuto promises to be an ergonomic and light weight option for shouldering any RED DSMC2 body. I spent some time with the rig over a ten day digital shoot and my full review video is above.

There’s not a great deal of innovation in the progression of the shoulder rig.  Once you’ve found the one that has the balance you need, that gives you the assist you want, you stick with it.  However, then your go-to camera manufacturer decides to retool their entire line into one body style, and you’re back to figuring it out again.  In response to RED’s transition into the DSMC2 line, Zacuto produced this rig.

If you’ve used Zacuto products  in the past, you’ve most likely been drawn to their price point, but a little (or a lot) disappointed with their heft.   The major selling point however has always been their reliable quality– everything metal, not piece of plastic in sight.  The new Zacuto RED shoulder rig delivers on that all-metal promise, while taking itself lightly…literally weighing in at a little over 2.0 lbs, so what had deterred me previously is no longer an issue.

When I’m shouldering a camera for many hours at a time, my primary concern beyond weight is simply balance and ergonomics,  the overall feel of the rig. The balance of the Zacuto rig is excellent.  I never had to mess with moving the rig forward or back on my shoulder. There also isn’t a steep learning curve here — we popped the whole kit out of the box and had it rigged up in under 10 minutes.

Zacuto RED rig paired with the DSMC2 Helium S35. Image Credit: Chuck France – Copyright: Legendary Digital Networks

The kit Includes: 

  • VCT Pro Baseplate
  • 2 x 6.5″ 15mm Rods
  • RED Top Plate
  • 3″ Z-Rail
  • Top Handle with Z-Rail and Cold Shoe Mount
  • Shorty Trigger Grips

In terms of price point, you’re looking at $1,330.00 for everything listed above. The price feels right for what you’re getting, but it is worth noting you’ll need a VCT Tripod plate to really take advantage of the quick release functionality of the VCT Pro baseplate included in the kit. The included RED top plate is also a standout and allows passthrough communication between the camera and the DSMC 2 monitor for mounting directly on top of the camera body. I also loved working with the thumb button on the shorty Trigger Grips for repositioning. Thankfully, gone are the days of strong-arming tightened knobs to move the grips around between shots.

Image Credit: Chuck France — Copyright: Legendary Digital Networks

In general, this rig does exactly what you need it to do.  If you work with RED DSMC 2 cameras, this is a good buy.  I would like to see another pivot point on the wrists, but that is a small bit of feedback for a system that otherwise works very well. My biggest takeaway from working with this system, is I never felt like I was fighting the design during any stage of shooting and that is a big plus.

The music used in the video above is courtesy of Music Vine – Get 25% off your next music license with code C5D25 (valid for one use per customer).

What shoulder rigs are you using? Let us know in the comment below!

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Dan Brockett
MemberMarch 1st, 2019

Graham, it looks as if your eyes are only about 4″ from your RED monitor, any thoughts of adding an EVF with this rig? Even with reading glasses, I have a hard time focusing that close?

Chris Santucci
MemberMarch 1st, 2019

Meh. Front heavy and too expensive. My Ginirig K-2 with Wooden Camera baseplate and top handle is pretty amazing for about a grand.

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